Water Calc questions

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Branden Borden, Feb 13, 2019.

  1. Branden Borden

    Branden Borden New Member

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    I'm having trouble understanding how the water calc tool works and i feel like im completely missing something.

    The way i currently understand this is that i have to look at the the water volume from a brew session and manually plug that in to the water calc tool. Then choose the source & target profiles and plug in guesses with minerals until I'm where i want to be. Then i need to do the math to split up the mineral/acid additions between mash and sparge water because it only gives results for the total volume.

    If I have a recipe built and source water defined, i feel like the water calc tool should pull in all the ingredients and show me what i've got for mash pH. If i then pick a target water it should show me the salts/acid i need to add or subtract to achieve that. Then an entry point for me to deviate from the software recommendations.

    I use RO water, measured into the HLT and the Mash tun as needed before treatment. I usually treat them the same but they are different volumes and different vessels. I can not have all of the water in one tank prior to treatment.

    It seems like im doing a lot of simple math and data entry that the software should be doing. What am i missing?
     
  2. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    The water amounts come from the quick water requirements that come from your equipment profile. We ARE currently having the water amount come from the mash guidelines, and having the water calculate right there.

    Once you finish building your recipe, click save, and then go down to link the water calc. That will pull in your recipe into the water calc and you can select your target there. It will give you a projected water pH, but not select the salts for you.

    I realize that just having it give you a profile would be easier, but I've noticed in other water calculators that doing that means it's not usually correct. For example, it may have you put chalk in to hit the calcium numbers, but that's not a correct way to do it. So our calculator allows you to add the salts below the target, so you can use what you need and see the changes there. It is pretty intuitive, and just using it a few times will make it second nature to you.
     
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  3. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Think of you water additions as ingredients like yeast, grist, hops, etc.
    Different styles of beer need different types of grains, hops, yeast etc. You as the Brewer need to either brew a pre-existing recipe, or build your own. For instance there are a number of different base malts you can choose to brew an IPA, which one you use is personal preference, or availability. The recipe builder will not select your hops and yeast because that is up to your discretion as well. Different styles of beer also have different water profiles, and there are numerous different ways to arrive at those profiles. It does take some research and trial and error, and you can make it as simple or as complicated as you like.

    I will post up a couple examples of water profiles that I use, will try to do that at lunch today
     
  4. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Here is a link to my recipe "Cit Ruby Cit", and screen shots of the water calculator information for it.
    https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/650670/cit-ruby-cit
    I start with RO water

    Now this is just what I have been doing for this recipe, and it works for me. I only started brewing a year ago, and am still learning how the different ions affect mash pH, and flavor.

    Disclaimer: You can try this at home, but your results may vary...

    1 Light & Hoppy.JPG
    2 Water Volume.JPG
    3 Profile to Actual.JPG
    4 Salt Additions.JPG
    5 Acid Additions.JPG
    6 mash report.JPG
     
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  5. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    #5 Craigerrr, Feb 13, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019
    As a newer brewer I concur with what Yooper is saying.
    When you go back and forth between your recipe and the calculator you need to watch that your water volumes match. Once I have done that, I click save and update in the calculator, close the window then click "update" in the recipe, then resave the recipe. I have had an instance where a mysterious grain showed up in the calculator that was not in my recipe, which threw off all the numbers, and I could not get them to match up. When I realized the extra grain was there I just clicked on update grist from recipe button, presto the planets aligned!

    Here is the edit / update / remove link part of the recipe (when in edit mode)
    Recipe Water Chemistry.JPG

    And here is the update button in the calculator, it is at the bottom.

    7 update grist.JPG

    I hope this helps, good luck!
    Craigerrr
     
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  6. Branden Borden

    Branden Borden New Member

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    Thanks for your replies i really appreciate the help.
    I now understand why you do not have the software choose the salts.
    I am coming from using Brungard's Bru n Water, and find it logical. Put in what you have, play with the salt/acid additions and it tells you what to put in sparge & mash.

    I followed Yoopers directions down to linking the water profile. I see it pulls in the grain bill from the recipe but that's it. The fields under water volumes are all 0's for me.

    Can we start there? Because from the screen shots it looks like you folks have water volumes imported and i do not.

    Also, even if the volumes are there do i still need to do the math to split up the adjustments between the mash and sparge? It appears that the additions are calculated only for the total volume of brewing water.
     
  7. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    Water volumes for the water calculator come from the mash section of the recipe. If you've got a total water and/or sparge amount in your mash section it should come through to the calculator. If you're looking for hints on the amount of water try the quick water requirements in the recipe tools menu at the top of the recipe builder.
     
  8. Branden Borden

    Branden Borden New Member

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    Right, but they are not being pulled from the recipe. I should not have to manually seek out info already entered/calculated. Right? It should be pulled right into the water calc.
     
  9. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't always do it for me. Most of the time it does, but sometimes it refuses to flow through. Never spent the time trying to work out why not, i just manually enter them in those cases.
     
  10. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    This is something we are working on right now- it should pull from the recipe, and it should be calculated there. I'll let everyone know when it's released.
     
  11. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    When I use the water calculator and have entered volumes in the mash information section of the recipe builder, it pulls them.
     
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  12. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I've never had to put manual grain entries in, though now I'm paranoid I've been missing something.
     
  13. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    The one time I had a mysterious grain show up in the calculator it was acidulated malt, so it was probably my own doing due to something I did in the acid addition section. It would be nice if the water volumes carried over.
     

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